A new EU-funded study shows huge differences in the quality of refugee integration policies in Europe, despite standards set by EU and international law.
Europe is far from providing a level playing field for refugees to achieve a better life.
The study presents a comparative, indicator-based assessment of the refugee integration frameworks in 14 countries: Czechia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Though Europe’s main way to provide global durable solutions to refugees is through long-term integration, the study written for the “National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM)” reveals how member state policies largely fail to deliver on this promise and a lack of harmonisation on refugee integration across the EU.
The key findings include:
• Refugees rarely experience fully favourable conditions to integrate in any area of life.
• The health and education sectors are making the greatest efforts to help those in need. Much more needs to be done by public housing, employment and training services.
• Member states are on average better in providing access to rights than in implementing the accompanying policies and measures that are actively supporting this integration.
• Administrative barriers are widespread, especially to help refugees access the housing they need.
• One of European member states’ greatest challenges is coordinating their policies and getting locals and refugees themselves involved in designing the solution.
• Most national governments do not work in partnership with civil society and local and regional governments to develop and implement their policies.
The report “The European benchmark for refugee integration: A comparative analysis of the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism in 14 EU countries” can be found here.
Research was conducted in 14 member states by civil society and university partners of NIEM, a project led by Institute of Public Affairs from Poland.